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Biphobia and Bisexual Erasure: QUEER RAGE EDITION

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Kim Anderson

on 10 April 2014

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Transcript of Biphobia and Bisexual Erasure: QUEER RAGE EDITION

Biphobia and Bisexual Erasure:

A Presentation Bi Kim Anderson (lol...get it?)
Bisexuality: the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree
-Robyn Ochs, Famous Bisexual Activist
What exactly is biphobia?
This is just one definition of bisexuality and it may not fit everyone. It is important to listen to definitions created by bisexual and biromantic people themselves instead of, often incorrect, dictionary definitions.
Biphobia is fear, hatred, or prejudice of bisexual people.
How about Bisexual Erasure?
Bisexual erasure is the removing and falsifying of bisexuality from history and relevant discussions.
The most extreme example of bisexual erasure is the idea that bisexuality doesn't even exist.
Who Contributes to biphobia and erasure?
The Straightz
Gays and Lesbians
Other non-monosexual queers
How can other non-monosexual queers be biphobic? That seems silly!
It is...
A lot of the problems other non-monosexual queers have with bisexuals stem from the idea that the word bisexual is inherently binary and,therefore,excludes trans people and non-binary people.
This is SUPER problematic!
So what is this girl trying to say?
But doesn't bi means two?!?
A little Bistory
(I apologize for the puns...)
Term was born around the end of 19th century
Researchers such as Krafft-Ebing, Ellis, and Hirschfeld thought bisexuals had traits of "both sexes"
Considered psychologically intersex
Then Freud theorized that all humans are born bisexual and needed to "overcome" bisexuality in order to become a mature heterosexual adult
Kinsey introduced a more fluid idea of sexuality (though still limiting) with the Kinsey scale
*Important to recognize that the people controlling the definition so far are white cisgender medical and psychological institutions
This categorization (and even pathologization) of bisexual people attached a label and identity to what was before just a series of acts.
Bisexual people reclaimed this identity from medical and psychological institutions during the bisexual movements of the 1970s.
The binary definition of "attraction to both men and women" (per medical institutions) was used a lot at this time with some variations
The bisexual movement emerged alongside the transgender movement and have a history of strong alliances.
In the 1990s and 2000s the definitions began changing to be more inclusive of non-binary identities.
Language such as "attraction to more than one sex or gender"; "attraction to people of genders similar to one's own and different from one's own"; and to people of multiple genders

First off the idea that bisexuality inherently excludes trans people erases the identities of binary-identitified trans people. That is super transphobic and harmful.
The bisexual movement gained momentum around the same time as the transgender movement before there was adequate and popularized language to describe non-binary genders, however, non-binary people have been acknowledged within the bisexual community for decades using words such as third gender or "those in between".
from the straight community:
Physical violence
Street Violence
Sexual Harassment and Violence
Famous bisexuals the world forgot: thanks bi erasure!
Freddie Mercury
Lead singer of Queen
Virginia Woolf
Famous Author
Frida kahlo
Famous mexican painter
And surprise...
Famous greek poet from isle of lesbos
Wrote poems about men as well as women.
Biphobia in the media occurs in mainstream shows as well as shows aimed at queer audiences.
"Bisexual's a term that gay guys in high school use when they wanna hold hands with girls and feel like a normal person for a change." - Kurt Hummel
"You're right. Bisexuality is gross. I see it now." - Alice
But don't bisexuals face the same problems as gays and lesbians? I'm sure their quality of life is the same right?!
just a few Examples of Biphobia
Assuming that everyone you meet is either heterosexual or homosexual.
Automatically assuming romantic couplings of two women are lesbian, or two men are gay, or a man and a woman are heterosexual
Expecting a bisexual to identify as gay or lesbian when coupled with the “same” sex/gender.
Expecting a bisexual to identify as heterosexual when coupled with the “opposite”
Believing that bisexual men spread HIV/AIDS to heterosexuals.
Believing that bisexual women spread HIV/AIDS to lesbians.
Refusing to take a bisexual seriously if they haven't been sexual/dated multiple genders
Assuming bisexuals would be willing to “pass” as anything other than bisexual
Assuming bisexual means “available.”
Thinking that bisexual people will have their rights when lesbian and gay people win theirs.
Referring to bisexual people as "half gay" or "half straight" instead of a complete orientation
San Francisco Human Rights Commission

Bisexual people experience greater health disparities than the broader population, including a greater likelihood of suffering from depression and other mood or anxiety disorders.
Bisexuals report higher rates of hypertension, poor or fair physical health, smoking, and risky drinking than heterosexuals or lesbians/gays.
Many, if not most, bisexual people don’t come out to their healthcare providers. This means they are getting incomplete information (for example, about safer sex practices).
Most HIV and STI prevention programs don’t adequately address the health needs of bisexuals, much less those who have sex with both men and women but do not identify as bisexual.
Bisexual women in relationships with monosexual partners have an increased rate of domestic violence compared to women in other demographic categories.
San Francisco Human Rights Commission
Sexual Violence
Lifetime Prevalence of Rape
Straight women:17.4 %
Lesbian women: 13.1 %
Bisexual women:46.1 %
The lifetime prevalence of sexual violence other than rape (including being made to penetrate, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and non-contact unwanted sexual experiences):
Straight women: 43.3 %
Lesbian women: 46.4 %
Bisexual women: 74.9 %
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Prevalence of other sexual violence among men:
Straight men: 20.8%
Gay men:40.2%,
Bisexual men: 47.4%

Bill Clayton

17 year old bisexual boy committed suicide after being brutally assaulted
Aaron Hampton
27 year old bisexual man assaulted on the street for nail polish
How can I fight biphobia?
Use inclusive language
"Marriage equality" instead of "gay marriage"
Challenge biphobic remarks you hear
Correct biphobic myths you hear
Full transcript